MP's warning over football safety costs

England's leading football clubs should foot the £180,000-a-year bill to accommodate six Football Licensing Authority staff in swish premises in London's West End - not taxpayers, a Norfolk MP said last night .

England's leading football clubs should foot the £180,000-a-year bill to accommodate six Football Licensing Authority staff in swish premises in London's West End - not taxpayers, a Norfolk MP said last night.

The licensing authority charges England's 94 football clubs £100 for a safety certificate, irrespective of a club's size or status.

But the cost of running the authority is met by the taxpayer - and the bill stands at £30,000 for each of the authority's employees each year.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, a member of the Commons public accounts committee, said: "Big football clubs have plenty of money.

"It is not obvious why taxpayers should have to pay £30,000 per person to keep the staff of the Football Licensing Authority at a top London address.

"Taxpayers should not be paying through the nose for posh office space for the Football Licensing Authority, while multi-million pound football clubs are rolling in money and being charged a pittance for vital safety certificates."

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Mr Bacon spoke ahead of publication of the Commons committee's report on the authority.

The report found that the six staff were accommodated in generous office space at Cavendish Square, London.

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